A report from The Amandala Newspaper went viral with information that Treaty Energy, a gas and oil company from New Orleans is facing fines in the United States for faking oil finds in Belize. The reports says that the ‘Securities and Exchange Commission charged that company and five of its executives with running a stock trading scheme through which they garnered US$3.5 million in illicit gains after they falsely announced a commercial oil find in Belize’. This ploy was done so as to scam people into buying stock in the company.
For context, in January 2012, Treaty Energy announced that it struck ‘black gold’ near Independence, adjacent to the Port of Big Creek in Stan Creek claiming that it could drill up to 90 wells in the field, where the production potential was said to be 6 million barrels of oil. The concession given to Treaty Energy issued in 2007 was to operate under a joint venture agreement with Princess Petroleum to explore 1.8 million acres of offshore territory of Belize, east of the Belize Barrier Reef, and 200,000 acres onshore in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts.
The SEC alleges that Treaty Energy’s founder Ronald Blackburn and four company officers – Andrew V. Reid, Bruce A. Gwyn, Lee C. Schlesinger, and Michael A. Mulshine – obtained at least $3.5 million in illicit profits from the scheme.
The Amandala Newspaper reported that based on these findings, the SEC’s complaint charged the company (Treaty Energy), its founder — Blackburn, as well as the officers of the company: Reid, Gwyn, Mulshine, and Schlesinger, with securities fraud, as well as violations of the registration and reporting violations of the federal securities laws.
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